MORRISDALE-A new year for the Curwensville Lady Tide welcomed in a new round of changes. New faces replacing senior leadership on the court is always expected, but this year the sidelines themselves have a major change. Entering into his first tenure as coach of the Lady Tide, and his first coaching experience at the high school level, was Bob Desmett, and his team looked ready to get things off and running.
The season for Curwensville began on Friday night, but it began on the road in Morrisdale against the Lady Warriors of West Branch.
Call it first-game nerves, or call it being out-matched, but on this night the Tide were battling from behind from the get-go. After 32 minutes, those in attendance saw the home squad take care of business in a 62-31 rout of Curwensville.
Things in the first half were not going right for Curwensville on the court, as they shot only 3-for-11 from the field, plus missed a pair of free throws. At the same time, the Warriors’ star senior, returning letter-winner Skylar Ceprish, got her night rolling immediately. She scored eight of her game-high 28 points in the first quarter. At the end of one quarter, the Tide were trailing 15-6, but were learning about what was working for the team, while the new coaching staff also was learning the ropes.
With about three minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Desmett made a substitution for starter Madison Weber. The problem that both the statisticians alerted the officials that the player coming in was not listed on the signed roster prior to the game.
The result was a technical foul on the coaching staff for a rules violation, leading to a pair of free throws by Julia Herring, both of which were made, and possession for the Warriors. Meanwhile, the coaching staff for Curwensville had to remain seated during the remainder of the game because of the technical foul.
At that point, the Warriors kept the momentum rolling right through the second quarter, out-scoring Curwensville 21-6, and holding them to a lone field goal from the floor.
Ceprish kept up her momentum not just in shooting, but also on the boards, as she pulled in five rebounds in the first half, finishing the night with 12 to her credit, giving her the first double-double of the 2017-2018 season.
Curwensville’s biggest issue in the first half was turnovers, turning the ball over 10 times, most of which resulted in points for the Warriors. But, in the second half, they were able to hold onto the ball a lot better, and also saw some strong play from Weber in the paint. With her height competed to some of the West Branch squad, she was playing hard in the paint by gaining eight blocks to go along with her team-high 14 points, and team-leading nine rebounds.
The final quarter for both squads became physical, and long. Combined the teams committed 11 fouls, 12 free throws, and 15 turnovers between them. The Lady Tide played their best quarter of the game in the end when it came to both scoring, and making use of each possession. But by that time, the game was well in hand.
West Branch also managed to win the opening junior varsity game, routing Curwensville 31-5 in which the Lady Warrior defense held the Lady Tide scoreless in the second half.
Desmett will have a bit of time to get his girls ready for their next game, as Curwensville (0-1) will have their home opener on Tuesday inside Patton Hall when they host the Lady Damsels of Moshannon Valley.
NOTE: During the third quarter West Branch went for a rebound following a foul shot and in the battle the ball was put in the basket. The ball was not touched by any Curwensville player, but rather West Branch. This resulted in a team basket for the Lady Tide by virtue of West Branch scoring in the wrong bucket.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Curwensville 6 7 7 12 – 31
West Branch 15 21 8 18 – 62
Wagner 0 0-0 0, Spencer 1 0-0 2, Warrick 0 1-2 1, Condon 0 1-2 1, Sylvester 0 0-0 0, Jacobson 4 0-2 8, McCracken 0 0-0 0, Swindell 1 0-2 2, Weber 5 4-10 14, Warren 0 1-2 1, Team 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 13 7-20 31.
West Branch 62
Prestash 1 0-0 2, Emigh 1 0-0 3, Betts 3 1-2 7, Hunt 0 0-0 0, Ceprish 11 4-7 28, MacTavish 0 0-0 0, Herring 2 5-7 9, Mertz 2 1-2 5, White 3 2-2 8. TOTALS 23 13-19 62.
Team Fouls: 14/19
Three-Point Shots: Ceprish (2), Emigh
Foul Outs: Mertz
Technical Foul: Desmett (Rule violation)